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Education - Segregation and desegregation - William Reynolds v. Topeka Board of Education

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Douglas School in Topeka, Kansas

Douglas School in Topeka, Kansas
Date: May, 1902
A view of Douglas School, which was attended by African American students, located on Polk Street between 3rd and 4th Streets inTopeka, Kansas. The photograph was submitted to the Kansas Supreme Court as exhibit A in the case of William Reynolds vs. The Board of Education of the City of Topeka of the State of Kansas.


Douglas School in Topeka, Kansas

Douglas School in Topeka, Kansas
Date: May 1902
A view of Douglas School, which was attended by African American students, located on Polk Street between 3rd and 4th Streets in Topeka, Kansas. The photograph was submitted to the Kansas Supreme Court as exhibit A in William Reynolds vs The Board of Education of the City of Topeka of the State of Kansas.


William Reynolds, plaintiff v. The Board of Education of the City of Topeka, defendant. Original proceedings in mandamus and return to alternative writ of mandamus

William Reynolds, plaintiff v. The Board of Education of the City of Topeka, defendant. Original proceedings in mandamus and return to alternative writ of mandamus
Creator: Wilson, W. H.
Date: May 1903
These records relate to the original proceedings in mandamus and return to alternative writ of mandamus, filed with the Kansas State Supreme Court. W. H. Wilson, representing the Topeka Board of Education, defendant, states that it was not convenient or expedient to make provisions for separate schools for black and white students in the Lowman Hill district until the original school was destroyed by fire. This was the only school within the city limits where black and white children were instructed together. After the fire on July 20, 1900, the Board of Education determined that the schools in the same general location were overcrowded, and in their best judgment, it was unwise and detrimental to both the black and white children to instruct them together during the first six grades. Therefore, the Board of Education decided to provide separate schools. A new two-story brick building was constructed for white students, and an one-story frame building once used for white children but rendered useless, was designated for black students. Wilson stated that the Board of Education has been given express power and authority by the statutes of the state to organize and maintain separate schools for the education of white and black children except at the high school level. This case came about when William Reynolds, an African American, had attempted to enroll his son, Raoul, at the new Lowman Hill school and was denied on account of his race. He filed a writ of mandamus which stated that this discrimination violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as well as the state constitution of Kansas.


William Reynolds, plaintiff v. The Board of Education of the City of Topeka, defendant.  Original proceedings in mandamus, writ denied

William Reynolds, plaintiff v. The Board of Education of the City of Topeka, defendant. Original proceedings in mandamus, writ denied
Creator: Burch, Rousseau Angelus, 1862-1944
Date: March 1903
Original proceedings in mandamus, writ denied, opinion of the Kansas State Supreme Court was written by Justice Burch. In the case of William Reynolds, plaintiff v. Board of Education of the City of Topeka, defendant, the plaintiff's son was denied admission to an all white school, Lowman Hill School. Reynolds was forced to enroll his son in Douglass School, an all black school, which was considered an inferior building. The court found in favor of the defendant. Justice Burch wrote that Chapter 81, Laws of 1879, provided that boards of education in cities of the first class shall have power to organize and maintain separate schools for the education of white and colored children, except in the high school, where no discrimination shall be made on account of color. Burch further stated the plaintiff did not cite any authority for the position that the XIV Amendment to the Constitution was violated.


William Reynolds, plaintiff v. The Board of Education of the City of Topeka in the State of Kansas, defendant. Alternative writ of mandamus

William Reynolds, plaintiff v. The Board of Education of the City of Topeka in the State of Kansas, defendant. Alternative writ of mandamus
Creator: Kansas Supreme Court
Date: April 28, 1902
Proceeding in mandamus filed with the Kansas State Supreme Court. William Reynolds, the plaintiff, was a resident of Lowman Hill school district and the father of Raoul Reynolds, an eight-year-old student who had attended a desegregated school in the district until the building was destroyed by fire. A new and modern brick building, Lowman School, was constructed; however, it was designated for white students and black students were forced to attend an older and undesirable building, Douglass School. On the first Monday in February 1902, William Reynolds brought his son to Lowman School for enrollment, but the principal refused because the child was of African descent. Mr. Reynolds was directed to enroll his son in Douglass School designated for black students. The plaintiff accused the Board of Education of violating the Constitution of the State of Kansas and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Reynolds demanded that his son be admitted to Lowman School, to be taught without regard to his race or color, and to be treated in all respects as a white child.


William Reynolds, plaintiff v. the Board of Education of the city of Topeka in the state of Kansas, defendant

William Reynolds, plaintiff v. the Board of Education of the city of Topeka in the state of Kansas, defendant
Creator: Stark, J. M.
Date: September 6, 1902
Deposition taken for Kansas Supreme Court case William Reynolds, plaintiff v. The Board of Education of the City of Topeka, defendant. John P. Rogers, Shawnee County Surveyor, was questioned about the elevation, slope, and drainage around the schools in question: Lowman Hill and Douglass. The case was filed by Mr. Reynolds, plaintiff, who wanted his son, an African American, to attend Lowman Hill School, a new building which was designated for white students. African American students in the same district, including Reynold's son, were forced to attend Douglass School, an inferior and unsanitary building. Deposition given by John P. Rogers, Shawnee County surveyor.


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